New Delhi, October 30
President of India, Droupadi Murmu, has extended her greetings to the citizens of the country on the occasion of Chhath Puja.
“I extend my hearty greetings to the people on the occasion of Chhath Puja. It is a day to pray to god Surya and a unique example of expressing gratitude towards nature. I pray to Chhati Maiyya for happiness, peace, and prosperity in everyone’s life,” the Rashtrapati Bhavan tweeted in Hindi on Sunday.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also wished for the people’s well-being on Chhath Puja.
Taking to Twitter, PM Modi said, “Hearty greetings to all the countrymen on the auspicious occasion of Chhath, dedicated to the worship of Sun God and nature. With the blessings of Lord Bhaskar’s aura and Chhathi Maiya, everyone’s life should always be illuminated, that’s all I wish.”
Today is the third day of Chhath Puja, known as “Sandhya Arghya.”
Chhath Puja is an ancient Hindu Vedic festival that is mainly celebrated in Bihar, Jharkhand and Eastern Uttar Pradesh in India and Nepal.
Also referred to as Surya Shashti, Chhath, Mahaparv, Chhath Parv, Dala Puja, Pratihar and Dala Chhath, the four-day-long festival is dedicated to the deity Surya and Shashthi Devi.
As part of the ritual, women fast for the well-being of their sons and the happiness of their families. They also offer Arghya to Lord Surya and Chhathi Maiya.
The four-day festival started on October 28, Friday, with the main day and the last day of the puja, being celebrated on October 31, which is falling on Monday.
On each day, people observe the Chhath and follow rigorous rituals. As per Drik Panchang, sunrise on Chhath Puja will be at 06:43 am, and sunset will happen at 06:03 pm.
The Shashthi tithi begins at 05:49 am on October 30 and ends at 03:27 am on October 31.
Chhath is performed to seek blessings from the Sun God for a healthy, happy, and prosperous life. It is believed that sunlight has cures for various diseases and conditions. It has a healing effect that can benefit ill people.
Taking a dip in the holy river is also considered to have certain medicinal benefits. The main purpose of Chhath Puja is to help the Vrattis gain mental purity and spiritual well-being. The festival requires maintaining utmost ritualistic purity.
Chhath Puja is celebrated by people by following different rituals. The first day of Chhath Puja is known as Kaddu Bhaat or Nahai Khai. On this day the parvaitin (the main worshiper who observes fast) cooks the Satvik Kaddu Bhaat along with pulse and serves it as a bhog to the deity in the afternoon.
The second day of Chhath Puja is known as Kharana. On this day, the parvaitin cooks roti and rice kheer and serves it as a bhog to the ‘Chandradevta’ (Moon God). A full-day fast without water is observed on the third main day of Chhath Puja.
The main ritual of the day is to offer Arghya to the setting Sun. On the fourth and final day of Chhath, Dusri Arghya is given to the rising Sun and it is known as Usha Arghya. The 36 hours long fast is broken after giving Arghya to the Sun.